While Advent is intended to be a period of fasting and prayer, it would be silly to think you could go the whole four weeks before Christmas without baking Christmas cookies.  I try to save our baking for special days. . .  making several types of cookies at once and giving some away to friends and neighbors.

The baking and giving away of cookies over Advent draws us back to a simpler time. . .  a time when Christmas gifts were few and usually hand-made and delivered with love

Every time I bring out the mixer and flour to make old family recipes, I remember times past when I had these goodies growing up. 

My particular favorite, full of nostalgia, are my Grandma’s Cinnamon Buns.  She still makes these every Christmas.  Then, when family are gathered around the table in the evenings, she pulls them out along with all her cookies from her cookie exchange and everyone gorges on these delectable treats while reminiscing together.  Some of my best memories from childhood center around these Cinnamon Buns and the conversations they lead to.

Grandma’s Cinnamon Buns

3/4 c. Milk, heated

1/4 c. Sugar

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

2 sticks Margerine or Butter

1/2 c. Warm Water

2 packets (or 2 TBL) Yeast

4 1/2 c. Flour

3 Egg Yolks

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

Mix sugar, salt and butter or margerine into hot milk.

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

When milk mixture is room-temperature, add yeast mixture, flour and egg yolks.  Dough will be sticky.

Chill dough in fridge for anywhere from 4 hours to overnight.

Divide dough into quarters.  Roll a quarter at a time into a circle (about 1/8″ thickness).  Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into pie wedges (about 12-16 pieces) and roll each piece up from the wide edge to the point.

Bake 400*F for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

And some cookies from around the web. . .

Browned Butter Cranberry Oatmeal Bars at The Traveling Spoon

 Kiss Pies at the Picky Palate

Here’s a fun one for the kids.  Christmas Tree Cookies at Better Homes and Gardens.

Just one thing to do today:

Bake cookies with the kids.  Or, if baking cookies is part of your St. Nicholas’ Day plans, decide what cookies you are going to bake and make sure you have all the ingredients.  Or both!